It's been years now since Java first released, but still, its popularity is growing and growing. Yes, since 1996, Java has experienced consistent development in its programming efficiency. But have you ever thought that why Java is so unique and why it stands apart despite all other programming languages? Well, the reason is its unique features.
Yes, it is its unique features that make it stand apart. So, let’s learn the top features of Java here. However, to understand its features well, it's very important to learn about the language first. Hence let’s start by its introduction for a better understanding of the Java features.
What is Java?
In simple words, a programming language that produces software for multiple platforms is what we call Java. The compiled code (known as bytecode) can run on most operating systems (OS), including Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, whenever a programmer writes a Java application. Moreover, Java derives much of its syntax from basic programming languages such as C and C++.
A former computer scientist with Sun Microsystems, James A. Gosling, developed the language Java in the mid-1990s.
Why is Java So Popular?
There are many reasons behind its popularity, but one major reason is its platform independence. That means the programs can run on various types of computers; yes, a Java program can run on any computer as long as it has a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on it.
If you are thinking about what types of computers will be compatible with a JRE, well, there are many, including PCs running on Windows, Unix or Linux computers, Macintosh computers, and large mainframe computers, as well as smartphones.
Even some of the biggest organizations are using the language as it has been around for so long. Many banks, insurance companies, retailers, utilities, and manufacturers use Java.
Moreover, there is no sign of Java declining in use. Because rather than that, it is an evolving language that almost uniquely combines innovation with stability. Besides that, the language is one great example of longevity, which means the code you may have written 15 years ago will run on the most up-to-date JVMs and gain the speed advantage of the latest profiling, memory management, and native code translating.
And, fundamentally, Java is object-oriented. Plus, since Java objects contain no references to data external to themselves, the code is robust. Moreover, the language comes with a library of classes that offer commonly used utility functions that most Java programs can’t work without; still, it is considered to be very simple.
Java has this Java API, the class library, which is as much a part of the language as Java itself. Yes, because in actuality, the real challenge of learning how to use Java isn’t learning the programming language, but learning the API.
There are 50 keywords in the language; however, the Java API contains thousands of classes with tens of thousands of methods you can use in your programs. Although we must say that despite it, developers aren’t expected to learn all of the Java API, even the majority of them are only fluent and experienced with just a small portion of it.
The Importance of Java
With the language being as popular, its demand for IT companies is also growing day by day. Yes, it means there are lots of upcoming job opportunities for developers who have a solid knowledge of Java. The Java programming language continues to create many jobs in the tech industry with an existing base already.
An open-source and free source of implementation of the Java programming language is OpenJDK. And, it’s platform-independent across OS environments since it’s an open-source programming language.
Besides, Java is an all-around universal programming language. Due to its scalability and solidity, Java is found on mobiles, large-scale industry servers, desktops, and applications. Also, Java has been started gaining credibility in the area of cloud development and the Internet of Things (IoT).
There are near about 10 million Java developers globally, and this community continues to grow daily. Java encourages the values of giving back to the public, similar to other open source technologies. Even on Online forums, like StackOverflow, various Java developer experts are ready to help beginners.
You might imagine that Java is more commonly used in your daily life. Several websites which you use for daily life use Java, for example, Google, LinkedIn, YouTube, Amazon, and eBay. Plus, along with continuous progress in security and performance, Java has a strong development roadmap.
We must say that even though Java does not suit all needs, but still it’s a popular programming language that is widely used and serves a lot of businesses and people. And, Java continues to evolve even after 22+ years of existence.
7 Features of Java That Make it a Preferred Language Over Others
So, let’s explore some features of Java that make the language unique as well as most preferred over other languages:
1. Higher Cross-Functionality
As we already mentioned, programs written in Java in one platform can run across desktops, mobiles, embedded systems, hence it offers high cross-functionality and portability.
There is ‘write once, run anywhere’ philosophy that not only allows it to be used in many ways on a wide variety of different devices but also lets it be used in a lot of different places. Another benefit it offers is that it can easily be moved from one computer to another. Even most of the Java applications are built-in windows and can further run on Linux.
There are several big companies such as Airbnb, eBay, and Uber that use Java for at least part of their web applications or sites. Java can also help us to develop applications for Android-based smartphones and tablets. Java is one big player in connected device markets as well as in the internet of things.
If we talk about its applications, Java is already controlling things like ATMs, medical devices, industrial robots, and with the huge growth of connected home devices from light bulbs to garage door openers, you will surely find the Java-powered logo. Besides all, Java is even present in the entire lines of home devices that are connected to the internet and leverage Java programming.
2. Easy to Learn
We very well know that learning anything new isn’t typically easy at first, and so is true for Java. And Java is quite a robust language, and it might be tricky to get productive with it in a short time, mainly if you have a steep learning curve. But still, you will be surprised to know that once you would be familiar with the program and its initial hurdles, it is pretty easy to write a program in Java.
One major point because of which one learns Java easily is because it is the most human-readable language. Yes, the language uses a syntax similar to the English language with minimal symbols makes it easier and quicker to read as well as learn. Hence this becomes one of the top reasons why people learn Java and also consider it one of the best programming languages.
And, on top of that, if you are coming from C, C++ background, then surely you will find Java quite similar, especially in terms of its syntax. On the other hand, experts who are working in Oracle, Sun, and SCRUM can easily combine their knowledge with Java to develop mobile web or applications.
And most importantly, there is no shortage of resources, including websites, books, online tutorials, and classes to learn the Java language because it is one of the oldest programming languages.
3. Thriving Community
Like we stated above as well, Java has a very thriving community. Yes, according to an estimation, there are near about 10 million Java developers around the world. Ranging from sports cars to medical devices, Java runs on a wide variety of devices, and that also signifies that a wide variety of industries have job opportunities for Java developers and that too for the long run. With many different ways to get involved, it leads to a broad and diverse community. Even several conferences and meetups have been organized for Java users across the globe.
When learning any language, the community is a huge factor & plays a vital role. Java community is available to answer your questions as it has a lot of forums and several Java user groups. And, as it’s already a mature language, many questions have been asked already with great answers provided. Must say, there is a community for you, whether you are using Java to build your website or to power the internet of things project.
Most importantly, it’s all free. This plays a vital role because for anyone who wants to learn a programming language or for an organization to use that technology, Cost is one big factor. So, you do not have to pay anything to create your application with Java.
4. Object-Oriented Language
We are not saying that Java is the only object-oriented language. But it’s one of the few languages which is 100 percent object-oriented and makes developing OOP applications very easy. And, that’s one another reason which made it a popular language. Because without it being object-oriented, you cannot write a simple program in Java.
That means to use OOP with Java, all you need to have is the basic knowledge of OOP concepts. OOP is optional in other programming languages like C++, Python
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5. Awesome Tools
There are two most popular IDEs in the development environment used by software developers, Eclipse and Netbeans. In making Java one of the best programming languages, it played a huge role. Besides these, there are some IDEs as well as DOS, Notepad++, and other text editors that have excellent support for Java built-in.
Like we mentioned above as well, there is a vast assortment of frameworks and libraries available in Java that can make you more efficient as a programmer because some of the tasks you are going to perform while developing an application are already solved with the existing library.
Some other helpful tools are Maven, Jenkins, ANT, Visual VM, Decompilers, and JConsole that not only offer help in code completion but have powerful debugging capabilities, which is essential in real-time web development. It’s easy to integrate Java into a desktop, mobile application, or server-side web application that makes Java development much faster, fluent, and easier.
In server-side web programming, Java is widely popular for Java2 enterprise edition, and developing desktop applications is very popular in desktop. On the other hand, Java is the most popular programming language for the Android operating system in mobile applications.
6. Legacy Enterprise
Java is one of the programming languages, which has something relegated to big enterprises. And, it is mostly used in legacy enterprise application development. Back in the late ’90s, Java was a hot new language, and all the big corporations adopted Java.
Well, as all such big organizations got involved with Java, it was designed via consensus with huge corporations. It was a bit slower and super complex back then but has been simplified to some extent.
Moreover, Java has a large active user community and support available being highly popular at the enterprise. So, if you are going to be working with very large corporation’s projects that may last for six months or year with a big team, Java is a very good choice for you.
In any programming, Thread is the smallest unit of processing. And as we know, Java has the ability for a program to perform several tasks simultaneously within a program; it’s all because of its multithreading feature. The feature enables us to maximize the utilization of CPU time.
Moreover, the programming language Java has very effective memory management. And due to that, switching between these threads takes very little time, as they share the same area of memory.
Also, it does not affect the other if one thread faces exception as they operate independently of each other. Especially for heavy applications like games and animation, this is very useful.
So, we have seen that with unmatched features, Java is one powerhouse, a dynamic language, and the first choice for web developers across the globe. So, choosing a professional Java development company to create a result-oriented application will be one best thing to do, especially if you want to empower your business with the rich features of this language.
Covetus is a leading web development service provider that creates engaging client-centric web, enterprise, and mobile applications. Plus, to build custom applications that match the unique requirements of the clients, we have rich expertise in Java and deliver the best Java web development services.